Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) has held a keel-laying for the second of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) that it’s building for the South African Navy’s Project BIRO.
The South African Navy’s Project BIRO aims to develop maritime security, ensuring the country’s capabilities to respond effectively, rapidly, and cost-efficiently to maritime threats such as piracy and illegal fishing.
The vessels are tailored to the specific requirements of the South African Navy and feature the Damen Sea Axe Bow – a vertical hull form that reduces slamming for safe, comfortable operations in rough seas, says Damen. The MMIPVs are the first Sea Axe vessels to operate in South Africa.
“A well-managed maritime sector is key to the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic,” says chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Hlongwane.
“Fighting Covid-19 poses new dilemmas for South Africa in addition to the existing challenges of policing one of the largest maritime zones in Africa.
“South Africa must also fulfil numerous international safety responsibilities, any reduction in South Africa’s supply chain efficiency could wreak economic havoc on the country and its neighbours.”
Damen will exceed Project BIRO’s 60% local content requirements, issuing contracts to a large number of local suppliers. As a result of their work on Project BIRO, many of these suppliers are now earmarked for work on Damen projects in and outside of South Africa. Additionally, DSCT’s undertaking of the project has created over 300 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs in line with the South African Government’s Operation Phakisa objectives.